Samsung Replaces Galaxy Series designer

Technarchy

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May 21, 2012
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Just my opinion, and speaking purely about aesthetics, I like the way the Galaxy line of phones look since the S3. Dare I say the design is becoming iconic, and catapulted the Galaxy devices to the top of the smart phone food chain.

So what is Samsung looking to do/gain by changing/shuffling their lead designer: http://www.engadget.com/2014/05/07/samsung-replaces-mobile-design-chief/

I hope this shuffle doesn't dramatically change the Galaxy's design language. I like the oval home button quite a bit. Also the SD card and removeable battery. Maybe the praise of the M8 has gotten under Samsung's skin.

It might have been defiantly plastic, but the Galaxy S5's lukewarm critical reception has apparently stimulated change at the higher levels of Samsung. Chang Dong-hoon, formerly Head of Mobile Design, tendered his resignation last week , has been shifted to Head Of Design Strategy at the company's corporate design center. He will be replaced by his VP, Lee Min-hyouk. According to Reuters, Lee was heavily involved in designing the Galaxy smartphone series, picking up the nickname 'Midas' in the process.
 

Switchback666

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Nov 16, 2012
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I think they can do a more "premium" design without getting rid of the sd card and removable battery.

Hell if they just get rid of the chrome finish on the sides that will perfect in my book.

That's the only complaint I have with the Note 3 design, I don't like the faux look on the back that much but texture feels good and maybe they can relocate the USB port or round/smooth the edges of the opening :) I find them too sharp.
 

Savor

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Jun 18, 2010
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I actually think Samsung can occasionally make good-looking products. Haters say they always make ugly phones.

Samsung Soul
Samsung Giorgio Armani
Samsung Focus / Omnia 7
Samsung Galaxy Nexus
Samsung Galaxy Note 3

Even their wearable accessories like the Galaxy Fit and Galaxy Gear 2 look quite nice.

I think tech reviewers (like David Pierce) are so emo about premium build quality because they are Apple fanatics and prioritize premium feeling over practicality. Metal isn't even the most practical material used for ruggedness.

And while I don't like TouchWiz, you can use a launcher and apps to get rid of the ugliness and bloat. You can disable them. I actually like that Samsung still provides a memory card slot and removable battery. And I like they use a physical home button. Save from wearing out the power button.

Hopefully with this change, Samsung can finally correct one of the main complaints about them. Design. But people sometimes forget they do alot of things right and provide alot of practical features with long-term value. Samsung might not be great at software and half-baked features but some can correctable. Disable it or don't use them. But they are rarely guilty on having missing features.
 

maflynn

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May 3, 2009
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I think they can do better to make the Galaxy series look/feel more premium and that doesn't mean adding fake leather.

I don't mind the look of the Sx phones but I never thought they looked premium.

I think the iPhone has a premium look/feel and if Samsung can up its game, all the better for them
 

Robster3

macrumors 68000
Dec 13, 2012
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And flaps !!! The microusb flap is a pain.
Yep but fortunately wireless charging helps with that. I have never liked a samsung phone before the S5. My first with wireless charging too. :)
I have had lifeproof and OB cases with iPhones and the USB port on S5is easier to use than on them.

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Just change the fake chrome on the side. Every thing else is a go.
Nailed it.
 

MRU

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I wonder though if they can do an exposed headphone port that's waterproof, what's the issue with the USB ?
 

kasakka

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Oct 25, 2008
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Just change the fake chrome on the side. Every thing else is a go.
It actually makes the phone a bit more winter friendly as real metal would be colder.

I think they did a really good job with the S4 for the most part. I don't think there is any phone that has such a good physical size to screen size ratio. The back cover could've been a less slippery material but it was a cheap fix with a 3rd party back cover.

I'd really like to see them try the high end, slightly smaller phone though. The S5 is a step back compared to the S4 when it comes to holding the phone.
 

tjl3

macrumors 6502a
Mar 8, 2012
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I'd have to say that they made the gamble on fake leather (not even faux leather) and struck out. They could have gone a handful of different ways, and I think this was a huge lapse in judgement on their part. And then going to their designer back for the GS5 has really drawn up the ire of their critics.

I do agree that their design is as defining and recognizable as the iPhone now, and much credit has to be given to them. That design is synonymous with Galaxy, and shouldn't need a rebranding or re-imaging.

I wonder if they will continue to go against the grain as well. Because modern design is simplistic. That's part of what makes devices like the Xperia Z, Nexus 5 and iPhone stand out. But w/ Samsung, their design is super complicated and they get catch a lot of flack when they don't hit a home run.
 

Nabooly

macrumors 6502a
Aug 28, 2007
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It's definitely time for a change. Regardless of "premium" or not, they've been milking this design for a long time now. It's the same story as the iphone 4 and on.
 

Technarchy

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May 21, 2012
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It's definitely time for a change. Regardless of "premium" or not, they've been milking this design for a long time now. It's the same story as the iphone 4 and on.
Milking? You clearly don't get it.

Samsung is not just selling a Smartphone. Everyone sells smart phones.

Samsung is selling an image, fashion, cool, trendy and gee-whiz. Apple does the same thing in a different way.

Changing for the sake of change doesn't work. Samsung didn't take off and become number one until they stopped with the unnecessary changes to their UI and design language.

Everyone is trying to own an iconic design language now like Samsung and Apple. The M8 looks like the M7, the G3 looks like the G2. iPhones look like iPhones.

You call it milking but Samsung would have to be on drugs to take their reputation, recognition, and marketable design look and throw it out the window for a for a few ADHD, fickle personalities that need sweeping change but a regressive experience because there is no chance to refine, and attempt to perfect.
 

McCool71

macrumors 6502a
Sep 16, 2012
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I'd have to say that they made the gamble on fake leather (not even faux leather) and struck out.
The main thing (for me) though is that it has very comfortable texture to hold. WAY better than metal or smooth polycarbonate in my opinion.

I just hope Samsung does not go for any widespread use of metal on their next flagship phone bodies; I have never understood why the same material that is used in soda cans is perceived as premium in any way. The extra cost (which I suspect is minimal) from building something in metal comes from a more cumbersome production process, the material itself costs next to nothing.

I guess people like the shinyness (before the hide it in a plastic cover...) :)
 

jamezr

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Aug 7, 2011
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Milking? You clearly don't get it.

Samsung is not just selling a Smartphone. Everyone sells smart phones.

Samsung is selling an image, fashion, cool, trendy and gee-whiz. Apple does the same thing in a different way.

Changing for the sake of change doesn't work. Samsung didn't take off and become number one until they stopped with the unnecessary changes to their UI and design language.

Everyone is trying to own an iconic design language now like Samsung and Apple. The M8 looks like the M7, the G3 looks like the G2. iPhones look like iPhones.

You call it milking but Samsung would have to be on drugs to take their reputation, recognition, and marketable design look and throw it out the window for a for a few ADHD, fickle personalities that need sweeping change but a regressive experience because there is no chance to refine, and attempt to perfect.
Nice explanation Techarchy….I wish more people would get that. Great examples of if it works don't fix it.
 

ChrisTX

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Dec 30, 2009
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As a Galaxy Note 3 owner, my biggest complaint so far with the Galaxy S devices is they have looked the same for the past 3 generations. You'd think they would do like apple and introduce a design refresh after 2 generations but I guess not.
 

Technarchy

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As a Galaxy Note 3 owner, my biggest complaint so far with the Galaxy S devices is they have looked the same for the past 3 generations. You'd think they would do like apple and introduce a design refresh after 2 generations but I guess not.
The S3 and S5 look and feel quite a bit different from all angles. The design refresh has happened.
 

MRU

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I do think if they had actually replaced the plastic chrome with real chrome / brushed aluminium it would look better, but in general terms I don't mind the S5 look.

What's important is it looks like a Samsung phone ... Unmistakably so.

Just like an iPhone looks unmistakably like an Apple phone.

Whatever your opinion on its aesthetics, that's a good example of brand recognition.
 

ChazUK

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Feb 3, 2008
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The most premium feeling Samsung handset I've ever owned was this:



Real solid & weighty and the metal parts did feel nice in the hand.

I't a pity the materials and feel of the Omina 7 wasn't replicated on the Galaxy S line.
 

SomeGuyDude

macrumors 6502a
Mar 19, 2011
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As a Galaxy Note 3 owner, my biggest complaint so far with the Galaxy S devices is they have looked the same for the past 3 generations. You'd think they would do like apple and introduce a design refresh after 2 generations but I guess not.
This is a problematic post. You didn't say there's anything you dislike about the design, just that it's the same. Change for its own sake is no good.

Also, the iPhone 4 came out in 2010, same year as the Galaxy S. The S5 looks much, much more different than the S than the 5s is different from the 4.
 

tbayrgs

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Jul 5, 2009
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I do think if they had actually replaced the plastic chrome with real chrome / brushed aluminium it would look better, but in general terms I don't mind the S5 look.

What's important is it looks like a Samsung phone ... Unmistakably so.

Just like an iPhone looks unmistakably like an Apple phone.

Whatever your opinion on its aesthetics, that's a good example of brand recognition.
I'm in this boat with you MRU. I don't think Samsung's most recent devices are ugly, per se, but rather feel less substantial and/or premium. I think much of it comes from using a design that allows for a removable battery and the required removable back plate. I'm personally a big fan of metal/glass, practical or not, and seem to generally prefer devices using these materials (iPhones/iPads, Nexus 4, HTC One, LG G Pad, and now the Xperia Z line are my recent personal favorites in design and materials). But there are certainly quite a few devices made from plastic that I found quite pleasant--Nexus 5/7, quite a few Nokia Lumia's--all of which have a better feel to me than Galaxy devices--more heft, more substantial and solid, so blaming the materials used is a cop out, IMO.

I agree with Technarchy in that Samsung changing for the sake of change would be foolish. Moving a new dramatic direction could very well alienate a large portion of their customers. I'd personally would just like to see a different build design using materials that feel (and look) better--go ahead keep the general Samsung design. Absolutely doesn't mean my design tastes are better, just what I'd need to see before considering using a future Samsung device.